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The Rise of Crypto Mayors

Currently, most of the crypto-enthusiastic officials are focusing on relatively modest projects. Mark Wheeler, Philadelphia’s chief information officer, became enamored with cryptocurrency in 2018 after hearing about an effort in Cook County, Ill., to list property records on a decentralized database.

“Improving the quality of property data management in city government is like the white whale I am trying to catch,” he said.

Mr. Wheeler stopped listening to NPR in the morning, turning to crypto podcasts instead. In November, he invited crypto experts to propose initiatives for Philadelphia; The initial white paper on Bitcoin has now been posted on the city’s website.

The craze has spread to a small American town. Last year, Jalen Nelson, a 26-year-old crypto enthusiast, sent a chilling email to 2,000 US mayors, hoping to engage them in discussions about blockchain technology. He got a response—from Chris Swanson, the mayor of Two Harbors, Minn., a town of about 4,000 people on the shores of Lake Superior.

Mr. Swanson was made with the idea of ​​establishing a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO – a collective of cryptocurrency investors — that would pool money to fund projects in Two Harbors in exchange for some sort of voting power on new initiatives.

“Trying to build something can be really complicated, and you end up using the same funds over and over,” said Mr. Swanson, 44. . ”

Mr. Nelson, who recently moved to San Antonio from California, has never been to Two Harbors, where winter temperatures can drop below zero. (In a recent Zoom call, he opted for a tropical setting, with palm trees swaying in the wind. “I told Chris I would visit him in the warmer months,” he said. .) For now, the project is still purely theoretical.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/25/business/crypto-mayors.html The Rise of Crypto Mayors

Fry Electronics Team

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